The Dangers of Fleas

Fleas are tiny pests that can cause big problems for pets and humans. In addition to being a nuisance, fleas may impact your pet’s health in more ways than you realize, and you could also experience adverse health effects from fleas. Here are some of the dangers that are associated with a flea infestation.

Painful Bites

Fleas are known to bite and draw blood, and this can cause a lot of pain. A few small bites might go unnoticed, but flea infestations usually cause many bites that are agonizing. Fleas seek the blood of humans and animals to survive, so you and your pet are always vulnerable. Fortunately, there are medicines for flea preventition for cats and dogs that can keep fleas away.

Hair Loss

The excessive scratching caused by flea bites may result in a lot of hair loss. This makes your pet more susceptible to sunburns. Less hair on your pet will also make it more difficult for him or her to stay warm on cold days.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions often stem from flea bites. According to the Princeton Veterinary Hospital, some pets develop a condition known as flea bite dermatitis. This happens when pets are allergic to the fleas’ saliva. Breakouts often occur on the face, neck and head of pets as well as at the base of the tail. Just a single flea bite can cause an adverse reaction if your pet is allergic.

Tapeworms

Fleas are known to carry tapeworms that can wreak havoc on a pet’s digestive system when ingested. Cats, in particular, are susceptible to tapeworms because they often swallow fleas when they bathe themselves with their tongues. Tapeworms are known to interfere with nutrient absorption and may cause your pet to become malnourished.

Skin Sores

Raw and painful sores on the skin often develop from flea bites. These sores may lead to secondary infections, which can put your or your pet’s health in even more jeopardy. Skin sores often appear red and raised and weep blood or puss.

Lip Ulcers

In addition to skin sores, ulcers can form on the lips and make it more difficult for your pet to eat. You might notice that your pet isn’t eating as much because of these lip ulcers. Not eating enough can cause unhealthy weight loss and weaken your pet’s immune system.

Plague

Although rare throughout much of the world, plague can still affect animals and people when fleas bite them. Plague is also transmitted through rat, mice and squirrel bites. PetMD states that the illness results from the bacterial strain Yersinia pestis, which travels quickly to the lymph nodes upon infection. Most dogs are naturally resistant to plague, but precautions should still be taken to keep your pet safe. Signs of a plague infection include swollen lymph nodes, vomiting and dehydration.

It’s always a good idea to be extra cautious about fleas so that you can avoid an infestation. Keeping fleas at bay can help safeguard the health of both you and your pet and prevent additional problems.

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About Jammie Morey

Jammie is of Native American descent, she has family from the Ojibway/Chippewa tribe in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. She was born and raised in Michigan, where she later moved to Tennessee with her husband and daughter. Jammie and her husband home school their daughter, and enjoy doing many things together as a family. Some of those activities include geocaching, hiking, fishing, playing games together as a family, and just being silly with their daughter. Jammie is Owner of The Neat Things in Life. For more information visit on Google+.

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